NCAA Silver Lining for Cal

NCAA Silver Lining for Cal

March 15, 2010CAL PAGE
SIGN UP FOR BRACKETBALL 2010!If youre among the Cal die-hards who think the Golden Bears actually have a shot at winning the NCAA mens basketball title, feel free to stop reading now and move on with your day.If youre a college hoops fan who seeks entertainment and entertainment alone from March Madness, or a Berkeley fan who cares about future recruits, proceed. Cals draw simply couldnt be better under the circumstances.The most significant circumstance, of course, is the loss to Washington in the Pac-10 tourney final. That changed everything. It did nothing short of dramatically altering the Golden Bears national identity.Beat the Huskies and youre the undisputed king of one of the countrys traditional power conferences. Granted, the Pac-10 was a conference in decline this season, but any team that wins the regular-season and tournament title curries favor with the selection committee.Win that game against Washington, and all of a sudden Mike Montgomery is twice the coach -- in the eyes of CBS -- as he is today. Jerome Randle and Jamal Boykin are better players. Cals campus is a little bit prettier.The loss, though, somehow made the Golden Bears tourney run more appealing to the casual Bay Area basketball fan. In beating the Huskies, Cal might have earned the No. 5 seed in the South and a first-round game against Siena. You know, the Metro Atlantic champs. Alex Franklin? Edwin Ubiles?Bueller .. Bueller? Anyone?Exactly. Instead, with the loss, the Golden Bears get Louisville in the South Regional first round. And with a win over the Cardinals, Cal likely gets a date with top-seeded Duke.How is that good?
Well, again, were talking about the casual fan here. And every casual college hoops fan knows that the college game has long been defined by -- increasingly so, since the one-and-done era was ushered in by the myopic NBA -- its coaches.Rick Pitino is a huge name. He coaches Louisville.Mike Krzyzewski is a huge name. He coaches Duke.Instant interest. And with a couple of wins, instant cachet for Cal.It probably wont happen, as noted above. Louisville can flat ball -- employing Pitinos signature pressure defense -- and Randle is going to be swarmed from the opening tip Thursday night in Jacksonville, Fla.Getting past Duke, which has an All-America forward in Kyle Singler, a 7-footer inside and Krzyzewski, will be even more difficult.But you cant tell me youre not more interested in Cal vs. Louisville than Cal vs.Siena.The nations prep stars surely will be, and thats where the Golden Bears really come out ahead. --Mychael Urban
What's on your mind? Email Mychael and let him know. He may use it in his weekly Mailbag.

Report: Sharks looking for a goalie before deadline

Report: Sharks looking for a goalie before deadline

The Sharks are reportedly looking for a goaltender prior to Wednesday’s noon NHL trade deadline.

According to TVA Sports’ Ren Lavoie, Canucks goalie Ryan Miller could be a possibility for San Jose. Miller is 16-18-3 this season with a 2.65 goals-against average and .916 save percentage for a Vancouver team that is virtually out of the playoff race.

If acquired, Miller would serve as the backup to Martin Jones, who has started 51 of the Sharks’ first 62 games and is in danger of being overworked headed into the postseason.

Jones has been backed up admirably by Aaron Dell, who is 7-3-1 with a 1.95 GAA and .934 SP in his first NHL season. Although Dell has started just 10 games, mostly against middling competition, Sharks coach Pete DeBoer recently expressed confidence in his ability to hold down the backup spot past the trade deadline.

“I don’t know what else he could do to show that he’s an NHL caliber goalie so far,” DeBoer said in Philadelphia on Feb. 11. “Those are decisions that [Sharks general manager Doug Wilson] makes, but in my mind, that’s not an issue right now for us.”

On Feb. 2, Wilson was asked if it is a risk going into the playoffs with an inexperienced backup.

“What you’re referring to is the comfort you have with the unknown. When you have a comfort with somebody that you know well, that the teammates and coaches know, that makes it much more comfortable,” Wilson said. 

“We’ll see what transpires between now and then. As I’ve said, we always explore any ways we can add to this hockey team.”

The Sharks acquired James Reimer from Toronto last season just before the trade deadline, giving Jones time off down the stretch. Reimer started eight of the final 19 Sharks regular season games before the playoffs.

Kings could lose 2017 first-round pick obtained in Cousins trade

Kings could lose 2017 first-round pick obtained in Cousins trade

The highly touted 2017 NBA Draft is four months away and the Sacramento Kings have gone from a team with no stake in the conversation to a franchise with plenty of possibilities. Like everything else in Sacramento, it’s complicated. The Kings could have zero, one or two first round picks in the upcoming draft.

Kings Pick

All the way back on June 30 of 2011, Geoff Petrie dealt a protected first round pick (2012-2017) along with Omri Casspi to the Cleveland Cavaliers for power forward J.J. Hickson. Hickson didn’t even make it through the season with the Kings. After attempting to deal him at the trade deadline and finding no takers, Petrie waived Hickson on March 12, 2012.

The Cavs used the pick as part of a larger package to obtain forward Luol Deng from the Chicago Bulls on Jan. 6, 2014. Chicago has waited patiently to use the pick, but per the original trade, if the selection falls in the Top 10 this season (post lottery), it is not relayed this season and it becomes a protected second round pick. If the pick falls in the between selections 56-60 (mathematically unlikely at this point), the Kings keep the second round pick as well and the original trade is satisfied.

To complicate matters, if the pick falls between 1-10 this season and the Kings retain the selection, the Philadelphia 76ers have the right to swap picks. The pick swap stems from the July 9, 2015 trade that sent Carl Landry, Jason Thompson, Nik Stauskas, a protected first round selection (now an unprotected 2019 first round selection) and the rights to swap picks in 2016 and 2017 for the rights to Arturas Gudaitis, Luka Mitrovic and a future second round pick. The Sixers currently have the fifth worst record in the NBA.

What does it mean?

If the Kings make the playoffs, the pick is instantly relayed to the Chicago Bulls. If the Kings miss the playoffs, but land 11, 12, 13 or 14 in the draft following the lottery, the Bulls get the pick. If Sacramento lands anywhere in the Top 10 following the lottery, they retain the pick, but the Sixers have the opportunity to swap selections.

Pelicans Pick

On Feb 20, 2017, the Kings traded All-Star big man DeMarcus Cousins, along with forward Omri Casspi (again) to the New Orleans Pelicans for Buddy Hield, Tyreke Evans, Langston Galloway, a protected first round selection and the Philadelphia 76ers 2017 second round pick.

The protections are a bit complicated on the Pelicans first round pick. If New Orleans makes the playoffs, the Kings instantly take the pick. If the Pelicans miss the playoffs and go into the lottery, the Kings are safe in 2017, as long as they don’t win the lottery and move into the top three spots.

If the Pelicans move into the top three in 2017 and keep the pick, it becomes a Top 1 protected pick for the next three seasons. In the nearly impossible scenario that the Pelicans draw a top three pick in 2017 and then follow that up with three straight no. 1 overall selections, the Kings receive the Timberwolves 2021 pick.

What does it all mean?

New Orleans currently sports the NBA’s sixth worst record and they trail the Denver Nuggets by 3.5 games for the eighth spot in the Western Conference playoff race. If the season were to end today, they would fall in the middle of the lottery. As long as the Pelicans don’t move into the Top 3, Sacramento gets the pick. If they win one of the top three picks, there is a high likelihood that the Kings will receive the selection in 2018.